By Rod Nickel and Timothy Gardner
WINNIPEG, Manitoba/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A private-sector proposal endorsed by U.S. President Donald Trump to build a railway from Canada’s oil sands to ports in Alaska would free landlocked crude but faces numerous steep challenges.
Trump wrote on Twitter over the weekend that he would issue a permit for the Alaska-Alberta Railway Development Corporation (A2A Rail) project to move Alberta crude 1,600 miles (2,570 km) to the Alaskan coast, as well as freight in the other direction.
“I will be issuing a Presidential Permit for the A2A Cross-Border rail,” Trump said. He said his decision was based on the recommendation of fellow Republicans Dan Sullivan, a U.S. senator, and Don Young, a U.S. representative. Projects that cross the U.S. border require presidential permits.
The $17 billion project, which backers hope will be in service by the end of the decade, was first proposed in 2015